On turning your back

As a little girl I always wanted to be a writer. I also really wanted to marry Taylor from Hanson but you can’t have everything.


I didn’t know what I wanted to write about or even what I could write about, all I knew was that I wanted to make people feel the way I felt when I read stories in books and later, articles in glossy magazines.


When I was 14, one of my poems was chosen to be printed in a real life book. I was as excited as a 14 year old is about anything and not long after it arrived, I promptly put it on a shelf and went about my life.


I went to University, studied Communications and was told relentlessly that Communications isn’t a real degree (apparently The Simpson’s said so) and since I hadn’t actually learnt much about writing, I figured The Simpson’s must be right so I put that dream on a shelf too.


After a couple of non writing related “getting a foot in a door” gigs, I got a job as a journalist for a magazine and suddenly, I was a writer. And I loved it with every inch of my excitable 25 year old soul. The job itself was tumultuous but when I placed my fingers on those keys and the words started flowing, it felt like magic.


I figured The Simpson’s must be right so I put that dream on a shelf too.


I knew writing came naturally to me and I knew I loved it but unavoidable aspects of the role were impossible and so, I packed up my things and, without looking back, walked away from my dream.


It would be four years before I wrote anything creative again but, one sunny Gold Coast day, I submitted an article to a national literary journal. A fancy one I never in a million years thought would publish my work. They did. Once again I was happy, but in a measured, don’t-get-too-big-for-your-boots kind of way. Thinking I might get famous from that one article, I packed away my pen and waited for the call.


Maybe four years after that I was offered another shot, which leads this somewhat ambiguous story to today. For the past 16 months I have been a writer for an online lifestyle publication and not only has it been the most creative year of my life, it has also been the hardest in more ways than one.


Here’s the point (thanks for sticking with me); more times than I’d like to admit and for more years than I care to think about, I turned my back on a dream because I thought I wasn’t good enough, even after being shown time and time again that I was.


Until not so long ago, I didn’t even really consider myself to be a creative person and then suddenly, after shedding A LOT of layers of myself I had been dragging around for way too long, I found my writing voice. Which is actually just my talking voice typed onto a page – who knew. Clearly being creative is my thing and it’s probably yours too.


Maybe not in a rambling sentences on a page way, or a taking candid snaps for Instagram way, maybe not even in a conventionally recognised way at all. Maybe it’s just that you’re really good at making tasty dinners without a recipe (teach me) or maybe the advice you give your pals is perfectly crafted gold or maybe you’re super talented at building architecturally sound beer can towers. Who cares.


Creativity is an escape from a world filled with clock watching and Netflix binges. No matter what your thing is, never turn your back on it.